Into the last quarter of 2019, and the trajectory of President Buhari’s new ministers is beginning to shape up. Particularly, we had our eyes on Sadiya Umar Farouq, helming the new ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the heavy, buzzy rumour that was she getting married to Buhari as his second wife. There’s been efforts towards implementing the new minimum wage, with the minister of Labour Chris Ngige meeting with heads of Labour unions. Here’s how we rank the ministers for October.
10. Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture)
Lai Mohammed still insists that Boko Haram had been technically defeated and what Nigeria now face is now continued attacks by related forces. Mohammed said his position in 2015 that Boko Haram had been defeated was based on what he saw on ground when he led a team of local and international journalists to the epicentre of insurgency in 2015. That said, Mohammed said nothing about The Wall Street unraveling how a massive number of Nigerian soldiers were secretly buried in umarked graves, despite the seeming defeat of Boko Haram.
9. Sabo Nanono (Agriculture and Rural Development)
Nothing could be more disingenuous and tone-deaf than Agriculture minister Sabo Nanono saying at the 2019 World Food Day in Nigeria that there’s no hunger in Nigeria. Furthermore, the minister said food is cheap in Nigeria when compared to other countries. It begs the question whether Nanono exists in an alternate universe. The prices of good and services have always been on the increase, coupled with inflation and the Nigeria’s over-dependence on crude oil, the average Nigerian still lives below $1 daily.
8. Zainab Ahmed (Finance)
Days after the Debt Management Office announced that Nigeria’s total public debut rose by N3.32trn in 12 months to N25.7trn as at the end of June 2019, minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed recently stated that the country isn’t embroiled in debt crisis as speculated by many. This does’t appear true though, corroborated by BudgIT Nigeria. That said, Ahmed announced $3bn has just been taken from the World Bank to solve Nigeria’s two critical power problems.
7. Abubakar Malami (Justice)
Reappointed as Minister of Justice, Abukakar Malami had his work cut for him, especially the much needed reform of the justice system. That aside, Malami is leading the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele for a fresh legal battle against British firm Process & Industrial Developments.
A British commercial court had in August affirmed the ruling of a London arbitration tribunal, which, in January 2017, awarded $6.6bn arbitral award against Nigeria over an alleged breach of a gas supply and processing agreement signed with P&ID.
6. Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment)
The protracted non-implementation of the new minimum wage has been a defining hallmark of Chris Ngige’s ministerial footprint, and his seeming nonchallance about brain drain. With the federal government and Labour unions meeting yet again on the implementation of the new wage, this time around making consequential adjustments to finally reach an agreement, this spells a minor victory for Ngige.
5. Osagie Ehanire (Health)
Nigeria’s health sector has been plagued with poor funding and non-release of budgetary allocations to health, amongst other issues. Osagie Ehanire, with his impressive portfolio, has already stated how he will turns things around. In an exclusive interview with CNBC Africa at the Future of Health Summit in Abuja, Ehanire disclosed that a bill to make health insurance mandatory in Nigeria is currently awaiting assent.
4. Hadi Sirika (Aviation)
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika recently said he will be relocating his office to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu temporary to directly supervise the rehabilitation of the airport which he said will be completed before the end of April 2020.
Sirika alsp announced that the new terminal building for the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano will be ready before the end of the year.
3. Sale Mamman (Power)
Minister of Power has said that the 40MW Kashimbilla Power Plant in Taraba, which is powered to provide electricity to 80% of the communities in both Taraba and Benue States, would soon be commissioned. Expressing satisfaction with the level and quality of work done on the project, Mamman went on an inspection visit to the plant. Small wins.
2. Sadiya Umar Farouq (Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development)
Sadiya Umar Farouq hovered in political obscurity until news circulated that she was getting married to President Buhari, and potentially displacing the First Lady Aisha Buhari. Umar Farouq is currently enjoying some limelight, and directing the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPS (NCFRMI), to provide support to over 2,000 persons displaced by recent attacks on some Kaduna villages.
1. Sunday Dare (Sports and Youth Development)
Piggybacking off his admirable performance last month (ensuring the Super Falcons’ Coach Thomas Dennerby still has his job and plans to alleviate youth unemployment), Sunday Dare is among the few ministers who have hit the ground running. Now the Sports ministers announced the release of funds to to refund the IAAF overpayment wrongly credited to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.
Sunday Dare made this known on Twitter, and he has, in a short time, crafted an online presence for himself and fostering a relationship with the youth demographic.
|Sunday Dare||APC||Sports and Youth Development||1|
|Sadiya Umar Farouq||APC||Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development||2|
|Chris Ngige||PDP||Labour and Employment||6|
|Lai Mohammed||APC||Information and Culture||10|